August 7 is Purple Heart Day

080516VV purple heart 1Patrick McCallister
For Veteran Voice
“The General ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth, or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding. Not only instances of unusual gallantry, but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way shall meet with a due reward.” General George Washington

Aug. 7 is Purple Heart Day. There are likely about 10,000 recipients of the Purple Heart living in Florida. Carl Miller, commander of the Space Coast chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, 453, is one. On Feb. 8, 1969, he was in a foxhole in Vietnam keeping watch while two others with him slept. A mortar landed in the foxhole.
“I got hit at 9:20 at night,” Miller said. “I’d just got done looking at my watch moments before it hit.”
The blast threw Miller, and ripped off his left arm. It badly mangled his right arm. His companions died in the blast. Miller was then shot by the North Vietnamese Army overrunning the camp that night. He amazingly survived and received the Purple Heart twice — one for the blast, the other for the gunshots.

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